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Submitted by London Chair on Fri, 05/31/2013 - 11:22
Six weeks into the new season and I am tired out already. This is the first year that my sons have competed for a club and this is giving me exposure to a whole world of athletics that I had long ago left. After a winter of taxi-ing them around to training and various wind-blasted fields to slither around in knee-deep mud now I am taxi-ing them around to training and wind-blasted tracks to sit around most of the day waiting to do something..
Submitted by London Chair on Fri, 01/18/2013 - 11:31
Since I last wrote the 2013 affiliation fees issue has dominated the sport. It was good to see so many London clubs and characters at the very feisty South consultation meeting in December.
The views of the London Council on the original affiliation fee proposals have already been expressed both to EA and are there on our website for the record. I am happier that EA now proposes a flat £10 fee for adults. The interesting point that has arisen from this debate, however, is that the clubs are currently far more interested than I can remember in actually wanting more active input into how the sport is run. Clearly that is good.
Submitted by London Chair on Fri, 11/09/2012 - 22:39
175 potential coaches have completed the Coaching Assistant course in London over the past two years and not applied for their coaching licenses. This is about one third of all those who attended the course. The sport needs you to coach - that is what the Olympics and Paralympics were all about - inspiring and educating future generations. England Athletics will be contacting the 175 in the next few weeks to help you to complete the process. If you know anyone who has done the course but is not coaching - Get on Their Case! Over 500 people have attended these courses over the last two years - they are our Coaches of the Future.
London Chair Tony Shiret reviews the progress of Coach Education/Development in his latest Blog - Read more on this here!
Submitted by London Chair on Mon, 10/01/2012 - 22:22
You may by now be aware that England Athletics has increased its affiliation fees to individual participants from £5 to between £10 and £20 depending on the category of competition license being sought.
For the record the London Council met to discuss these increases earlier this year and I was tasked as Chair to present our objections to EA. I raised the following points in a letter to the England Athletics CEO dated 4th July, 2012:.
Submitted by London Chair on Tue, 08/28/2012 - 13:57
The Olympic Games were clearly a triumph for Britain in many ways and everyone who experienced them will remember those days for all their lives. At the time of writing I am also looking forward to the Paralympic Games. Clearly sports followers and participants all over the country owe Seb Coe a deal of gratitude for getting the Games all those years ago and successfully putting them on.
In London we in athletics have played our part in the overall success. Partly this was planned and partly we have been able to respond to a number of opportunities on a short time-scale. As the Paralympics approach we have been able to distribute nearly 1800 Olympic and Paralympic tickets to London clubs (see below).
Much has already been written and said about our fabulous London community participation scheme, Run! However our Run! team really excelled itself in the Olympics organising Access Events that attracted 7000 participants over the Games themselves. When the totals are known after the Paralympics we will publicise them. Attending a Run! event does not necessarily mean that you will end up running for Team GB or even run again. But sport is a low conversion game – so the more people who try athletics to start the better chance we have of making significant numbers of them long term participants.
Because the experienced officials team in the main stadium knew they could rely on Bob Smith and the London team managers to put on a match for them, some 150 London club athletes were able to compete on the main track and get the full experience of using the facilities two days before the first athletics events. This test event helped Keith Davies and his team iron out last minute wrinkles.
We have also been able to help London club members actually attend the athletics events in considerable numbers. We were able to obtain 660 low-cost pay-for tickets from the BOA to distribute to London clubs for the Olympics and last week we distributed around 1100 athletics tickets for the Paralympics kindly donated by the Mayor of London and the GLA. Nearly 1800 tickets is quite an achievement in my view considering the difficulty most people had obtaining tickets through the LOCOG website. The amount of work involved on behalf of London clubs and volunteers in these exercises should not be under-estimated and I would thank our main London managers, Bob Smith, Rhian Horlock, Nathalie Kavanagh-Clarke and Chris Minn on your behalf, as well as the Run! and Run England Activator teams.
Then there is the small matter of how well some of our athletes have done with Mo Farah, Christine Ohurogu and Robbie Grabarz all belonging to a London club. It is not for me to comment on who did what. But seeing a whole bunch of Team GB athletes doing great things, whom I have seen coming up through our London clubs and competitions like the British League, UK Women’s League, England Schools, London Youth Games made me personally very proud or both them and the people who have made their success possible in a variety of ways.
Lastly before I go all emotional, congratulations to our many successful teams in the various national League competitions that have recently concluded. Pride of place goes to Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers whose Men won the British League for the first time (with their Women also winning promotion to the UKWL Premiership next year) having been in the division for 33 consecutive seasons. Newham and Woodford completed a sweep of the podium positions in the Men’s league with Blackheath Women taking third in the Women’s Premiership. Congratulations also to Enfield Men (winners Div 1) and Herne Hill Women and Men for their promotions. Particular mention goes to SBH’s long-standing manager, Geoff Morphitis, who has been manager for most (all?) of those 33 years for a much deserved success.
Submitted by London Chair on Sat, 07/07/2012 - 18:18
Since the government starting measuring participation in sport through the APS survey in 2005/06 athletics has been the fastest growing major sport and in the recently published APS6 now stands third in the overall list with 2.0 million people participating once a week for 30 minutes behind Swimming 2.8m and Football 2.2m.
Submitted by London Chair on Mon, 06/25/2012 - 11:20
First thing to say this week is best wishes to all London based athletes or London club members competing at the Aviva Trials this coming weekend. London Council hopes that you all do yourself justice and fulfil your ambitions. In my club (Newham) we used to have a (joking) saying “Don’t Come Back Unless You Win”. In this case that would involve you staying in Birmingham – so there’s an incentive to do well.
Submitted by London Chair on Wed, 06/06/2012 - 10:59
The build-up to the Olympics and Paralympics is now in full swing and London athletes and clubs are already making their marks.
Submitted by London Chair on Wed, 05/02/2012 - 11:59
Yesterday was one of those when I thought we are beginning to get somewhere. In the morning I was invited to the Regional Disability Games at Lee Valley where 150 or so athletes and a very good number of volunteers and officials put on a great day. The star of the day was Yvonne Jacobs of Enfield & Haringey who organised the event and invested loads of her time making it a wonderful day. Our thanks to her and everyone else who gave their time so willingly and the athletes who produced a great day of competition.
The South West London Network review took place in the evening. After being the last London Network up and running SWLAN has made a lot of progress under Chair Chris Brooke. Interestingly the most enthusiastic club represented (the others were positive as well) was Stragglers Running Club from Kingston. They have been able to increase their coaching and leadership capacity within the network and generally feel they have benefited from a more structured approach and the activity plan of the network. They have 600 members already.
On the administrative front we have agreement to hold three each of Assistant Coach and Leader in Running Fitness courses in London in late June/early July. These will be posted on the London and England websites when confirmed. Their purpose is to allow clubs to increase their numbers of qualified people before the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
If you watched the London Marathon you will be pleased to hear that the leading UK male, Lee Merrien of Newham & Essex Beagles, has been picked for the Olympic team.
This weekend it is the Olympic Park test event for athletics, the British Universities Championships, held along with some invitational events for international athletes. Along with many London based athletes taking part will also be our officials and volunteers training for the real thing. The evening session will feature the invitation events.Follow @londonathletics
Submitted by London Chair on Tue, 04/24/2012 - 15:04
The past couple of weeks have been busy. Myself and the London Deputy Chair Peter Crawshaw reviewed the year 3 funding proposals of four of the seven London Networks on 18th April. The general impression on these is that the clubs are now taking a more involved approach and the activity levels achieved and planned have increased.